San Diego County now allowed to open barbershops, hair salons

Coronavirus

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — San Diego County can now reopen barbershops and hair salons with coronavirus precautions in place, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday.

San Diego applied to open the businesses more quickly than permitted by statewide guidelines, and gained approval along with 46 other counties this week.

In the last two and a half months of closures, many were willing to push the limits for a fresh cut.

“A lot of clients were wanting to pay me double. triple if need to so I can cut their hair or have one of our barbers cut their hair.”

Erick Alvizures, owner at Barbershop Heaven in Chula Vista made the decision to hold off. Loyal customers understood and in this case, their loyalty could literally be measured – by their length of hair.

I was hurting! I really wanted a haircut, but I understood the safety of everyone was the first priority, so I told Erick as long as I have to wait i’ll wait,” said customer Raymond Rojas, who was used to getting his hair cut once a week.

The state’s lengthy guidance for barbers and hair stylists is published online, and says businesses will need to ensure as much distancing among customers and employees as possible, require everyone inside the store to wear masks, and employ rigorous cleaning and training practices.

At Barbershop Heaven appointments are encouraged, the waiting area will be off limits, and barbers will allow extra time in between appointments to sanitize all their tools.

Other suggestions include temperature checks for employees and customers before they can enter, staggering appointments, leaving the doors open, and closing communal spaces such as lobbies and break rooms.

County health officials will lay out their own protocols for the reopening businesses and be in charge of making sure the guidelines are followed. The county has their own media briefing planned for 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

San Diego similarly gained early approval to open businesses for in-store retail and allow dine-in service at restaurants.

Newsom said the state would need more time to consider how nail salons and other beauty services can reopen safely, noting that California’s first case of community spread for the virus is believed to have come from a nail salon.

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